Idaho State (0-0) at UTAH (0-0) THURSDAY, 5:30 p.m. MDT Rice-Eccles Stadium (45,017) FieldTurf TV: Pac-12 Networks Radio: 700AM Weather: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the mid-70s.
For Idaho State ... The Bengals are seeking their first road win since prevailing at Northern Colorado on Oct. 7, 2006. They’ve lost 44 consecutive road games.
For Utah ... The Utes have won six straight season openers. They’re 36-0 against teams currently in the Big Sky Conference, including a 6-0 mark against ISU.
For Idaho State ... Besides their lengthy road woes, the Bengals enter the season on a six-game skid overall. Losses included Southern Utah, BYU (pictured) and Weber State.
For Utah ... The Utes topped Big Sky opponents Northern Colorado and Weber State by a combined score of 111-7 over the past two seasons in Salt Lake City.
Idaho State will win if ... The Bengals pretty much have two chances — slim and none. They appear to be extremely shorthanded in this battle against the Pac-12.
Utah will win if ... The Utes maintain their focus and determination to approach each game as if it were the Super Bowl. An upset is highly unlikely in this opener.
JUSTIN ARIAS, quarterback: The senior is the Big Sky Conference’s second-leading returning passer. He threw for an average of 295.6 yards per game in 2013.
UTAH’S OFFENSE vs. IDAHO STATE’S DEFENSE: The Utes and their more up-tempo scheme under Dave Christensen look to put up big numbers against a Bengals defense that gave up 30 or more points seven times last season.
Idaho State: The Idaho State Journal reports that the status of tight ends Tyler Graves and Tyler Wright “is in doubt.”
Utah: Cornerback Reggie Porter is out for the season with a knee injury.
Both teams play on Saturday, Sept. 6. Idaho State is at Utah State. Utah hosts Fresno State.